Social media habits changing amid rising national tensions

Andrea Koder has deleted social media apps from her phone. 
A new national survey of 2,000 people commissioned by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center finds more Americans are adjusting how they use social media platforms as tensions rise across the country.
 
Many of those surveyed cited stress from the global COVID-19 pandemic, along with the movement to end racial inequality and other divisive political issues in our country, as reasons for taking a social media break. The survey found:
  • More than half of Americans (56%) say their social media habits have changed because of tensions surrounding current events this year.
  • Almost 3 in 10 Americans (29%) say their social media use has increased because of tensions surrounding current events this year.
  • And 1 in 5 Americans (20%) say they’ve taken breaks from social media because of tensions surrounding current events this year.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by information, opinions and arguments while scrolling through social media channels, said Ken Yeager, director of the Stress, Trauma and Resilience (STAR) Program at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.
 
“Stepping away and reconnecting with reality offline is an important step to take for your mental health,” Yeager said. “Being constantly immersed in this stressful environment and being overexposed to contentious or traumatic events can make you feel like the world is a less safe place to be. And because these stressors have persisted over a long period of time, it’s wearing on people’s ability to cope with that stress.”
 
Watch the video to learn more.